Web site visits log

I am looking at statistics of a web site I manage and I am surprised at the large number of visits by googlebot. About 70 visits in one month. Why is this? Is it any sign of anything? Are they looking to see if the contect has changed? Is it good? Is it bad?

Also, I am noticing some several attempts to retrieve pages with random (and erroneous) names like hjuytdbjui.html Why is this? Is it indicative of anything?

Generally speaking, it’s a positive thing when Google visits your webpage and it’s something that a lot of webmasters spend much time, effort and money trying to make happen.

However, there might be other reasons why you’re seeing this type of statistic, depending on what information is actually being captured. It’s possible to set an ordinary browser (such as Firefox) to introduce itself as ‘googlebot’, instead of declaring its true identity - some people do this to get at content that is available to search engine spiders, but only available to mortal humans after signing in.

The random-looking filename could be an attempt by a seearch engine spider to determine what your webserver does when something non-existent is requested - I know a process like this happens when you try to register (in your Google Webmaster account) as the webmaster of some free hosting pages such as freewebs - because if a dud URL is requested there, the server dishes up a generic page with ads on it, rather than reporting the resource as unavailable - Google doesn’t like that.

Have you registered as webmaster of the domain with Google?

This is a list of domain requests. I can’t see how a browser can make it appear like the domain asking for a page was googlebot.

I have checked to see what gets served if an inexistent page is requested and it is a 404 error so I suppose that’s good. That might explain the strange page requests.

I do not know why I would want to register with Google as domain webmaster. How would I do it and what benefits do I get?

Google Webmaster Tools - you can get a lot of statistics that you can use to roll out the red carpet to Googlebot and otherwise maximise your visibility to search engines. e.g.

  • detailed information on errors encountered while accessing the site (HTTP errors, server not responding, as well as some content problems like having “Page Title” as the page title on all your pages)
  • links from other sites to your site (much more than the few shown in Google Search when using the link: syntax
  • opportunity to submit XML sitemaps, to make sure Googlebot knows all of your pages
  • graphs for the last three months on pages accessed by Googlebot and your server’s response time

Thanks tschild. I had a quick look but could not find a simple “register here”. It seems I need to use a Gmail account to register. Right? If that is tha case I would rather keep that separate from my computer and use another computer.

Let’s see…

Crawl info: Sounds good. Nothing specially interesting but it should match what I already see in my statistics.

Robots.txt file validation: Again, OK. My robots file is simple and even if it had some problems I would not be concerned. The site is very simple, with only about 20 pages, and all are open for everyone to see.

Website content: View top content from your site and see the words that other sites use to link to it. … OK, somewhat interesting.

Top queries: Find the top queries that drive traffic to your site and where your site is included in the top search results. This will let you learn how users are finding your site. . . . . OK, interesting as well.

Indexing information: See how your site is indexed and which of your pages are included in the index. If we find violations in your site, we’ll give you the opportunity to fix the problems and request reinclusion of your site. . . . . OK, I am not too concerned about this but I suppose I can register I look around.

Submit a Sitemap file: Again, not really important as the site is really simple.

Specify your preferred domain: Tell us which URL to use when indexing your site; we’ll do our best to index the version you prefer. . . . . Not applicable.

Anyway, do I need to register with a Gmail account? If so I’ll do it from another computer. I do not want that cookie in this computer.